Blog

16th June 2018
Curwen's Bay Barb

Curwen's Bay Barb

It is well documented that all modern thoroughbreds descend from the three foundation stallions, the so-called Fathers of the Turf. But the triumvirate of the Darley Arabian, Godolphin Arabian and Byerley Turk should rightly be joined by a fourth member - Curwen’s Bay Barb. Such is the dominance of the Darley Arabian  in the modern thoroughbred, (as shown on our p…

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15th June 2018
What makes Royal Ascot Special

What makes Royal Ascot Special

Next week the eyes of the racing world will be on Royal Ascot. But what makes the five days of the Royal Meeting which begins next Tuesday with the Queen Anne Stakes, named after its founder, the most unique global sporting occasion. To get a better idea we asked a variety of people from the racing industry including three Derby winning trainers for their reflections.…

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1st June 2018
Carozza - The Queen's first Classic winner

Carozza - The Queen's first Classic winner

In June 1957, Her Majesty the Queen won her first Classic when Carozza, ridden by Lester Piggott, snatched a dramatic victory in the Epsom Oaks. Guest blogger Amy Bennett reviews the career of Carozza, the only Royal Classic success for Lester Piggott. Until the powerhouse operation of Coolmore/Ballydoyle, few owners ever enjoyed a Classic season quite like that of Hi…

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28th May 2018
1971 Derby – I can’t believe he did it so easily.

1971 Derby – I can’t believe he did it so easily.

“I can’t believe he did it so easily” recalled trainer Ian Balding when asked about Mill Reef’s 1971 Derby triumph. Continuing our series of Q & A’s with Ian Balding, our third blog covers the build up to Derby Day and the young trainer’s memories of the 2nd June 1971 and Mill Reef's 1971 Derby victory. What specific training preparations did you take…

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16th May 2018
A Royal Winner of the Lockinge Stakes

A Royal Winner of the Lockinge Stakes

During the week of the Royal Wedding guest blogger, Amy Bennett looks back at Pall Mall a Royal winner of the Lockinge Stakes at Newbury. When the field goes to post on Saturday for the 60th running of the Lockinge Stakes, there will be no runner in the Royal colours, but it is a good time to remember the first winner, Pall Mall, who triumphed twice for Her Majesty th…

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2nd May 2018
1971 2000 Guineas - Probably the Best of them all

1971 2000 Guineas - Probably the Best of them all

Mill Reef’s trainer Ian Balding described the 1971 2000 Guineas as 'Probably the Best of them all'.  The quality field of 6 included the leading three two year olds of 1970, My Swallow, Brigadier Gerard and his own Mill Reef. Another interesting runner was the Irish raider Minsky, a full brother to the 1970 Triple Crown winner Nijinsky who was ridden by Lester Pig…

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26th April 2018
Desert Orchid

Desert Orchid

Saturday sees the conclusion of the 2017-18 National Hunt season with the Bet365 Gold Cup, at Sandown Park, formerly the Whitbread Gold Cup. Thirty years ago the revered Desert Orchid or ‘Dessie’ as he became affectionately known stormed home to win Sandown’s premier jumping prize. Established in 1957, The Whitbread Gold Cup was the first commercial sponsorship …

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11th April 2018
The Youngest Jockey to Win the Grand National

The Youngest Jockey to Win the Grand National

Bruce Hobbs remains the youngest jockey to win the Grand National, the world’s greatest steeplechase. Less than 3 months after his 17th birthday he guided the American bred and owned horse Battleship to a dramatic victory at Aintree on 25 March 1938. To add more spice to the young jockey’s historic victory, Battleship’s owner, the American heiress Marion Du Pon…

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8th April 2018
The Race That Never Was

The Race That Never Was

The Grand National 1993 was described by Peter O’Sullevan, the doyen of horse racing commentary as ‘The race that never was’.   With a global audience in excess of 300 million and the packed stands at Aintree anticipating the next instalment of the world’s greatest steeplechase, the race suffered two false starts and descended into chaos. 39 horses went to …

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6th April 2018
Newmarket Grand National Winners

Newmarket Grand National Winners

For the last three hundred years, Newmarket and its near neighbour Exning have had the choicest bred flat horses in the land striding up their gallops but during the 20th Century, there were six Grand National winners. The first of those was one of the greatest perennials to grace Aintree. The 1923 winner Sergeant Murphy, who had been 4th in both 1920 and 1922, was a…

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